No resolution on RNC's second ballot, either

Michael Steele ties Mike Duncan on the second ballot. When will the losers start dropping out?

By Mike Madden

Published January 30, 2009 6:04PM (EST)

WASHINGTON -- The odds of Mike Duncan remaining the Republican National Committee chairman look like they're dwindling.

Duncan and Michael Steele tied on the RNC's second ballot, each with 48 votes. That means Duncan's support dropped by four from the first ballot, and Steele picked up two. Katon Dawson was in third, with 29 votes, Saul Anuzis had 24, and Ken Blackwell dropped one vote to 19.

Republicans freely admit they have no idea what to expect; it's been 12 years since the party had an election that was totally open. The 168 members can keep voting until 5 p.m., when they'll be kicked out of the ballroom they're using. If that happens, there's a backup plan -- they'll move across K Street to the St. Regis hotel.

Update: Thomas Schaller, also on the scene, sends in the photo below, taken on his phone, of Steele working for votes. The woman Steele's speaking with is Heidi Smith, a national committeewoman from Nevada.

Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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